Blockchain was introduced in 2009 as a means to do peer to peer electronic transactions that were time-stamped and highly secured. The high computability and reliability of Blockchain have made it a mainstream technology which is adapted by industries like finance, healthcare, supply chain management and IoT systems. The technology is targeting to enter many other small and big industries and the Blockchain applications are making it possible to imbibe the features as per the business requirements.
There are multiple platforms rolled out over the years for Blockchain application development and choosing the right one requires a thorough understanding of the business and platform features. Check the following criteria to choose the desired development platform.
- The first thing to consider is the scalability and operations of the system.
- The compatibility of the system with the creation of smart contracts
- The type of network required as per the business specifications, public, private and hybrid
- Development languages supported by the platforms
The above-stated parameters are important for the selection of the platforms as the application development is a tedious process and platform support is quite essential for that.
The top blockchain platforms that are being used for application development are discussed below:
Ethereum: The platform was created in 2014 by Vitalik Buterin and is one of the most used open-source platforms for application development. It has a permissionless ledger system which is used for creating applications that work on public networks like Bitcoin. The smart contract functionality is also embedded in the system to automate the processes and the consensus algorithm used in the systems is “Proof of Work”.
Hyperledger Fabric: It is a commonly used open-source development platform created by Linux foundation in 2016. Developers can use the modular approach to create multi-purpose applications on the system. The ledger system requires permission to carry out the transactions which are used for private network applications. The consensus algorithm used is Pluggable and the smart contracts can be created as per the requirement.
Hyperledger Iroha: The platform is founded by Linux foundation and is used to create fast, secure and decentralised Blockchain applications. It is compatible with Linux and Mac Os and is primarily used to create applications for supply chain management and IoT systems. It encompasses the features of smart contract building and permissioned system to create applications for the private network. The consensus algorithm used is the latest one, Chain-based Byzantine fault-tolerant.
Hyperledger Sawtooth: The platform is supported by Intel technologies and is widely used by developers to create scalable and highly computable applications. It can be used for various industries and has no particular specifications. The ledger type used in the platform is permissionless and supports the development of smart contracts.
OpenChain: For industries looking for a specific platform to handle the digital assets, OpenChain is the best choice. It is an open-source system developed by CoinPrism to support the industrial needs of digital assets management. The partitioned consensus algorithm allows for a single authority to validate the transactions. The system supports permissionless ledger and smart contracts creation
Stellar: The platform is suitable for banking and finance organisations to develop services like wallets and smart devices. The system helps in cross-platform assets transfer which is the foundation of baking applications. The Stellar Consensus Protocol is used by the platform as the algorithm to record daily transactions which reduce the reliability on a closed system. The ledger supports creating applications for both public and private networks with modular smart contracts.
Hedera Hashgraph: It is the most favourable platform for building applications for digital currencies and online payment systems. The Asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerance algorithm induces a high level of security to the applications. Creating smart contracts and private network applications is quite easy in Hedera because of its scalability.
EOS: The platform was launched in 2018 by EOSIO core arbitration forum to solve the scalability issues of Ethereum and Bitcoin. It helps in developing secure, scalable and decentralised applications for multiple industries with modular smart contracts. The algorithm used by the platform is delegated proof of stake.
R3 Corda: The platform was built in 2015 primarily to support the financial transactions but has been modified over the years to be used for healthcare, supply chain management, government agencies and trading. The consensus algorithm allows to make payment directly from the smart contracts and thus reduces the operational cost of the transactions. Developers can easily make contacts with the platforms for private network applications.
As per the reports, the investment in the Blockchain technology in the first half of 2019 was around $783 million and the technology is penetrating to other industries as well. Understanding the business requirements and functionality is critical to choosing the right platform for application development. The distinctive features, algorithms, permissioned and permissionless network are important parameters to select the platform for blockchain application development.